Monday, January 14, 2013

Recent reading

Fragments: Elena Ferrante on Writing, Reading, and Anonymity by Elena Ferrante

I do not intend to do anything for Troubling Love, anything that might involve the public engagement of me personally. I’ve already done enough for this long story: I wrote it. If the book is worth anything, that should be sufficient. I won’t participate in discussions and conferences, if I’m invited. I won’t go and accept prizes, if any are awarded to me. I will never promote the book, especially on television, not in Italy or, as the case may be, abroad. ...
I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t.
I've been unfamiliar with this Italian writer. She sounds like a soul sister. Need to read her fiction!


 The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick
Few people remember how close Wallace came to getting the vice presidential nomination on that steamy Chicago night in July 1944. What might this country have become had Wallace succeeded Roosevelt in April 1945 instead of Truman? Would atomic bombs still have been used in World War II? Could we have avoided the nuclear arms race and the Cold War? Would civil rights and women’s rights have triumphed in the immediate postwar years? Might colonialism have ended decades earlier and the fruits of science and technology been spread more equitably around the globe? We’ll never know.
 Tom Lehrer, America’s most brilliant political satirist, announced that Kissinger’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize made political satire obsolete and refused ever to perform again.
 The two wars had been unmitigated disasters. Even Gates, on some level, acknowledged the indefensibility of ever again plunging the United States into the invasion of another country. In February 2011, he told West Point cadets, “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.”

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